Saturday 7.5 at 4pm at Arkadia: Hullu laulaja – Songs by Uljas Pulkkis, Sibelius and Strauss performed by Soprano Júlia Heéger and pianist Martin Malmgren

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Dear friend of Arkadia,

You are invited to Hullu laulaja – Songs by Uljas Pulkkis, Sibelius and Strauss performed by Soprano Júlia Heéger and pianist Martin Malmgren on Saturday 7.5 at 4pm at Arkadia (Nervanderinkatu 11)

Soprano Júlia Heéger and pianist Martin Malmgren
will offer a programme of works by Sibelius, Strauss and Uljas Pulkkis, centering around the latter’s “Onerva songs”, composed a decade ago.


Warm regards,


Entrance is free but a donation of €3 (or more!) to fund the event is suggested and would be most welcome. If you have no loose change or coins we gladly accept payment via Visa Electron or Mastercard etc. !

The poetry of Hilja Onerva Lehtinen has served as an inspiration for numerous composers. Born in 1882, she contributed art, theatre, and literature reviews to the newspaper Uusi Päivä, and worked as a literary critic for Helsingin Sanomat in 1910-11 and in the 1920s. Her unconventional poetry and behaviour stretched the limits of what was considered proper for women. She had a passionate relationship with Eino Leino, the Finnish poet, but it never led to marriage. Instead, Onerva married the composer Leevi Madetoja. The couple became the victims of alcohol and what was then considered the best cure for alcoholism. In the end, their marriage was wrecked by discord and made both of them alcoholics and misusers of medicines. When they could no longer manage their lives, Madetoja signed into a clinic and was cured, while Onerva was eventually confined in a mental institution in Nikkilä. Locked inside its walls, Onerva kept her sanity only by writing and drawing. After Leevi Madetoja’s death, she was released in 1947 thanks to her friends. She continued her career for another 25 years, writing and making art. In her last decades, Onerva produced the unbelievable amount of over 100 000 poems, of which several thousand can stand on their own merits. The four poems chosen in this cycle are from her final years.
In this concert, we also hear a few shorter songs by Sibelius and Strauss, as well as little-heard piano works by Percy Grainger, Maurice Ohana and others.

The Hungarian coloratura-soprano Júlia Heéger finished choral conducting studies at the Liszt Academy in Budapest in 2006, and singing pedagogic studies in summer 2009. Since fall 2012 she studies singing at the Sibelius Academy with Annika Ollinkari as her teacher. Heéger has also participated in masterclasses with Soile Isokoski, Kirsi Tiihonen and Andreas Schmidt.

The Swedish pianist Martin Malmgren developed a love for music from an early age and experimented with a wide range of musical styles in addition to classical music. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, and later finished a Master’s degree at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, studying with Ilmo Ranta. Martin is currently furthering his studies with Konstantin Bogino at the Accademia Santa Cecilia Musicale di Bergamo in Italy. He has performed with orchestras such as Tapiola Sinfonietta, Sinfonia Lahti, Oulu Sinfonia, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra and others, and has been invited to festivals including Pasimusic Festival, Eilat Chamber Music Festival, Nancy Music Festival, Trelleborg International Piano Festival and Aurora Chamber Music Festival, to mention but a few. As a strong advocate of contemporary music, he frequently works with living composers and commissions new works, and has recently commissioned a piano concerto by the Mexican composer Itzam Zapata. In addition to this, Martin is also the founder and artistic director of the piano recital series “Key discoveries” in Helsinki.